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Brand-new helipad to improve patient transfer service

Grafton Street Helipad and Link Bridge

Pick Everard was appointed to deliver a brand-new 130m link bridge and helipad for the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), with the aim of creating a 24-hour access primary helicopter landing site - the first of its kind in central Manchester.

The helipad is located on the seventh floor of Grafton Street Multi-Storey Car Park, and the high-level, rooftop link bridge provides access from the MRI to the helipad at all times. The link bridge also connects the site with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, and the Royal Eye Hospital.

The rooftop link bridge over-sails the car park access road, runs along the roof of a live ward block, and then interfaces with an extended lift core to transfer patients into the main hospital building.

Image used with kind permission of Curtis Moore

Clinical and support services were ongoing throughout the project, so the complex engineering and construction of the link bridge, helipad, and interfaces had to be conducted within an operational environment, with the car park and all hospital areas remaining in use throughout.

The building of the helipad and associated lift extension required several measures to mitigate noise and vibration for patients and staff in the wards below the development work. We were also aware of the potential for dust from construction work to cause issues for patients, especially those with respiratory problems.

Image used with kind permission of Curtis Moore

The bridge installation saw large sections lifted into place. Through close consultation with the Trust, we decided that each time a lift was to take place, the wards would be decanted as a precautionary safety measure for patients. We also implemented restrictions to ensure that no one could gain access to restricted spaces during lifts, with people on guard as a additional precaution.

To mitigate the risk to patients caused by dust from construction works, we implemented practical measures such as sealing windows to ensure hospital users were protected.

Image used with kind permission of Curtis Moore

Other elements of the scheme included the need to divert traffic onto the busiest bus route in Europe, which required heavy and clear signposting and changes to the car park number plate recognition software. This was prioritised to ensure that road and car park users did not incur any road fines due to the traffic flow changes.

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Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust




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